Worldwide over 1.3 billion people are without access
to electricity and 2.6 billion people are without clean cooking facilities. In Africa, over 80% of the population depends on rewood and charcoal for cooking and less than 50% has access to electricity.
The need to bring people out of energy poverty in Africa is well-recognized, including by the United Nations Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL), and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) include a goal to “ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services for all”.
Given the rising demand for energy due to population growth and increasing urbanization, there is an urgent need to invest in the sustainable development of tree- based bioenergy systems in Africa that include solid and liquid fuels to address the needs of all sectors of society as traditional forms of energy generation for cooking and heating will grow in the coming decades.
Over 80 experts from government, private sector, research and civil society, mainly from the African continent, met in May 2015 to discuss the opportunities and challenges of tree-based bioenergy. This
policy brief outlines the participants’ collective recommendations around rewood, charcoal, liquid biofuels and biomass for heat, power and transport in sub-Saharan Africa.